12.25.09 -- Ghost Story

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Illustration by John Leech, 1843


Friday, December 25, 2009 -- Christmas Day

Puzzle by Paul Gamache, edited by Will Shortz

A Christmas Carol (sub-titled "In Prose. Being A Ghost Story of Christmas") is a novella by English author Charles Dickens, about a miserly, cold-hearted curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge and his holiday conversion and redemption after being visited by four ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Looking as much like a Christmas tree as a crossword puzzle can, this delightful holiday gift features A CHRISTMAS CAROL (10D. 1843 work in five “staves”) with EBENEZER SCROOGE (53A. One who saw his name upon the stone of a neglected grave), the GHOST OF JACOB MARLEY (26A. With 32-Across, one subjected to “incessant torture of remorse”), BOB CRATCHIT (9A. One who worked in a “dismal little cell”) and TINY TIM (24A. With 35-Down, brother of Master Peter).

Christmas continues with YULE LOGS (34D. Iconic flamers), ENGEL (60A. Tannenbaum topper), JINGLERS (32D. Sleigh bells and such), VOCALS (1D. Sung parts, as of carols), LA LA LA (49A. Repeated parts of “Deck the Halls”), LAUGH (38A. “Ho, ho, ho,“ e.g.), TOY (25A. Stocking stuffer) and ELF (48A. 25-Across maker).

Other entries of length include ANTEATER (19D. Termite tormentor), BOOTLEGS (33D. Pirates), ORLANDO (4D. “As You Like It” hero), PIT CREW (46A. Quick-change artists?), SAVANNAH (14A. Georgia border river) and SOCIAL CLIMBER (12A. A-list wannabe).

Mid-size -- A BIND (2D. Trapped, after “in”), AHMET (7D. Ertegun who co-founded Atlantic Records), BOVARY (9D. Emma of fiction), DECREE (15A. Order in the court), DOSED (42A. Apportioned, as medicine), KORDA (58A. Michael who wrote “Charmed Lives”), ODING (22A. Taking too much, briefly), REINA (1D. Spanish royal), RIB CUT (8D. Club steak, e.g.), SACRO (12D. Pelvic prefix), SCALD (17A. Blanch), TEE UP (30A. Prepare to drive), TERRIF (11D. “Super!”), THINK (35A. Something to do twice?), TURIN (20A. Italy’s first capital).

Short stuff -- ACID, “The ANDY Williams Christmas Album“, BOA, DANA, DESC, DIAZ, DUI, EASY, EKE, ELS, ENYA, FAA, FULL (27D. Like Santa‘s bag on Christmas Eve), GEL and GET, GOER, GOO (59A. It’s gross) and GUCK (26D. It’s gross), GRRS, HEF, HOE, ICAN, IONA and IONS, KLEE, MEG, NRA, OAT, OHIO, PEAK, PLEA, SAAR, SLY, SOIL and SOY, SSGT and SSTS, STL, VAIO, WORE.


For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

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Remaining clues -- Across: 1. Sony computer brand; 5. River of Germany; 18. “Piece” org.; 21. Canine warnings; 28. Org. with inspectors; 29. Cause for weaving, for short; 37. It may be rolled; 41. Burial place of Macbeth; 44. Noted Bauhaus teacher; 45. “Little Women” woman; 61. Gradual; 62. On the ___; 63. Tupolev Tu-144s, e.g. Down: 3. Optimistic assertion; 5. Mo. Town; 6. Kind of rock; 14. U.S.A.F. E-5; 16. “And Winter Came …” artist; 22. 1970 hit by Crosby, Sills, Nash and Young; 23. Suffix with party; 29. ___ Perino, George W. Bush’s last White House press secretary; 31. Prime; 40. Hutch’s head briefly; 42. Junot ___, 2008 Pulitzer winner for “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”; 43. One with an ancestor: Abbr.; 46. S O S, e.g.; 47. Sported; 52. Na+ and Cl-; 53. Manage, with “out”; 54. Fancy wrap; 55. Protein source; 56. Secure; 57. Chicago runners.

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